This is definitely a sign of Hollywood needing to find new talent and ideas. Not only did I announce today the first trailer and poster for the SECOND film to focus on Ruth Bader Ginsburg THIS YEAR (See it here), but there are also two features focusing on beloved icon Mr. Rogers. Following the pattern of films centered around Ginsburg, the first was a documentary already released earlier this year titled Won’t You Be My Neighbor? while a second is currently in pre-production that will serve as a biopic with actor Tom Hanks taking on the role of Mr. Rogers.
Titled You Are My Friend, the story will focus on the real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod. In the film Junod, a cynical journalist, begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed.
While Hanks will play Rogers, it was announced today that Matthew Rhys, fresh off his critically acclaimed show The Americans, will play opposite Hanks in the role Junod. Obviously, this is an excellent choice given Rhys consistent talent on The Americans. In fact, Rhys is currently celebrating his third and final nomination for the show for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for the upcoming 70th Primetime Emmy Awards. In any case, this shows Rhys ready to break out from his successful career on television and show what he can do on the big screen in more leading roles. Rhys did previously co-star with Hanks in last year’s The Post in the supporting role of Daniel Ellsberg. So, luckily, you have a pre-existing working relationship there to build on for their dynamic in this film. Given the caliber of both actors, I’d say it will be excellent tale to see on the big screen.
You Are My Friend will be directed by Marielle Heller and is set to hit theaters October 18, 2019.